EBWU Conference - Lisbon, Portugal - 10-13 October 2024

The Peace Child,Susanna MeffordSusanna Mefford

Maybe you´ve heard of a ferocious tribe in New Guinea that instead of signing a peace treaty between warring groups, exchanges the last child born among them. These children are adopted and when they grow up, they are the mediators and negotiators in conflicts between the two groups. Each  one of these children is called “the peace child”.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of “the peace child” that was born in Bethlehem.  Let´s think about Him a little (not many people stop to think, statistics say only  5% of the population takes the time to stop, and think).

Women have a lot to do at Christmas time.  I suggest that we take the time to think about ourselves for a moment.  How long has it been since someone gave you a present that you´ve really liked (a lot!)?  One fine mother´s day I went to the store and bought myself the earrings that I had seen and liked (a lot!).  Sometimes it´s important to do something like that.  Love yourself.  Respect yourself.  Take care of yourself!  Physically,  emotionally,  spiritually. Don´t suffer in silence!  Go find help.  Invest in a positive friendship.

Each of us was born into a family of some kind – none of us could choose.  Some of us have been luckier than others – but all of us, each one of us, has been given the gift of a child, the peace child.

Ideally children are born out of love.  That child WAS, IS, love itself.  And love is what makes life worth living.  Our first and most basic need as a person is for love and the recognition of our achievements.  How many times have you heard a small child calling “Look, mommy, look!”?

I have a sister that likes to give couples   that are about to get married  a book called “The Five Languages of Love”.  Even if you speak several languages, sometimes it´s hard to be  understood.    Even when we speak the SAME language we often mis-understand.  This book speaks of the languages of love, the different ways in which we express and understand love. It says that it´s important to identify and know what your own love language is.  Maybe you´re even  bi or tri-lingual!

The five languages are:

    1. Physical contact. Though touch some of us say and understand that we love or are loved.  If no contact is available, we understand that the other person doesn´t really care for us.
    2. Presents.  In the giving of gifts some of us show our love.
    3. Words of Affirmation (or positive re-inforcement).  Encouragement or praise say that we are paying attention to another.  To some of us that is a demonstration of love.
    4. Acts of Service.  In doing something for another, in caring for or in helping, we express our love and concern.
    5. Time.  It is so precious that when we spend it with another person, it can mean that we value and love them enough to invest some of our time in them.

Communication in any language has to do with transmitting and receiving, in the language of love, also.  Do you know which one is your love-language?  How do you express  love to another person?  How do you know that the other person loves you?  My favourite love-languages are Time and Words of Affirmation.  Not that I don´t like Presents or Physical Contact or Acts of Service!  But just talking and  sharing a cup of coffee is one of the things I value most with my friends and loved ones.

When God sent His Peace Child, He did it as He is, with and in love.  He used the five love languages so that each one of us could be able to understand his purpose of love.  Jesus speaks his message through:

    1. Physical contact. He came as a human baby.  Nothing is softer nor sweeter than the feeling of holding a tiny newborn child. …she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger…(Luke 2:7)
    2. A Present. The present was Jesus, himself.  …For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
    3. Words of Affirmation. He came to preach good news to the poor! (Isaiah 61:1) At his birth the angel told the shepherds …Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people…(Luke 2:10)
    4. Act of Service.  Jesus came to serve, not to be served.  He came to give his life to save many. …to bind up the brokenhearted…(Isaiah 61:1)
    5. Time. He is the owner, the creator, of time. …”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”…      (Revelation 1:8)

Take time now to read the first 19 verses of Luke chapter 2.  The story of the birth of Jesus, love itself.

If you keep a place for Him in your heart, where we say love resides, the Peace Child will give you more than love, he will also bring you hope. Where there is life there is hope.

I wish you this Christmas especially,  a time (my love-language! of peace, of hope and above all, of perfect everlasting love, God´s love.

To finish: Practise learning to speak in one of the five  languages of love. To begin right now, give your neighbor a hug!  Touching other human beings has been found to raise the number of red blood cells in our blood stream.  That´s why traditional blessing always included the hands being laid upon the person blessed.  In touching and embracing each other we come closer and speak in the  universal language, the one God has given us, His language, love.

Susana Mefford, Spain